The Iowa Tribe of Kansas Officially Secures Kansas Sports Betting License

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 21, 2024 08:00 PM
The Iowa Tribe of Kansas Officially Secures Kansas Sports Betting License

A new operator is set to join the Kansas sports betting market.

The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is now authorized to offer sports betting in Kansas following a recent vote of approval by the state legislature. This green light for the Iowa tribe comes roughly 18 months after sports betting launched in September 2022. Despite such a long wait, the measure was ultimately met with minimal push-back.

What does this mean for the Kansas sports gambling market? How will Iowa tribe sports betting even be deployed? Will they be able to compete in a market that includes top online sportsbooks in the United States

These are just a few of the questions we have in the aftermath of the news. Let’s see how many of them we can answer.

Support for Iowa Tribe’s Kansas Sports Betting License Proved to be Overwhelming

Though Kansas sports betting launched in 2022 built around an online gambling component, the state still had a course of action set up for tribal operators to join. Their application process was (and remains) subject to different regulatory standards, which has slowed overall expansion. However, on the occasions in which Kansas has approved sports betting for casino operators, it did so without much resistance.

The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska’s sports betting license is no different. As Tim Carpenter wrote for the Kansas Reflector:

“The joint legislative Committee on Inter-Tribal Relations endorsed Monday the sports-betting agreement applicable to the tribe’s casino at White Cloud along the Missouri River. On Tuesday, the House passed the measure 101-20 and the Senate echoed that sentiment 30-5. The resolutions were forwarded to Gov. Laura Kelly. Before the Iowa Tribe initiated sportsbook betting, the revised gambling compact must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior for review and approval.”

Technically speaking, the amendment may still run into issues. But that’s not the expected outcome. In 2023, the Prairie Band Potawatomie Nation negotiated an identical deal with the state. It had no trouble passing through Governor Kelly’s office or getting the stamp of approval from the U.S. Department of Interior.

“This is substantively, other than changing the names and dates, identical to the compact this committee approved last year for Prairie Band,” Russ Brien, an attorney and member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, told the Kansas Reflector.

The Iowa Tribe will be Permitted to Offer Sports Betting on Tribal Property

As part of the agreement, Kansas sports betting is expected to be available on the Iowa tribe’s reservation property along the northeast wing of the state. This amendment will also cover Casino White Cloud, a facility operated by the Iowa tribe that’s stationed in White Cloud, Kansas, on Jackpot Drive, right along the Missouri River.

With that said, it remains on clear when the Iowa tribe of Kansas and Nebraska will launch sports betting. That timeline is contingent upon how long it takes for Governor Kelly and the Department of the Interior to sign off on the decision.

Once Kansas sports betting launches at Casino White Cloud, the Sunflower State will have six sportsbooks inside Kansas casinos. The other five are: The Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Mayetta; Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City; Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City; Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane and Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg.

Casino White Cloud may not be the last to join the fold, either. There are a total of nine casinos currently in Kansas. That leaves three without a Kansas sports betting license: The 7th Street Casino in Kansas City; the Golden Eagle Casino in Horton; and the Sac and Fox Casino in Powhattan

All of these establishments are tribal operated. That means they’re eligible to apply for a sports betting license in Kansas. Whether they each have plans to—or whether they will be approved—remains to be seen.

Is The Kansas Sports Betting Market Big Enough to Accommodate More Operators?

Some have started to wonder if yet another new addition to the Kansas sports betting region will dilute the market. Others want to know if this will make it harder for new entrants to turn a profit. While these are fair concerns, the first 19 months suggest the Sunflower State has the interest necessary to continue operational expansion.

Oddly enough, Kansas has the neighboring Show Me State to (partially) thank. So far, the state legislature has failed to legalize sports betting in Missouri. This has left many in the state to get their sports gambling fix by traveling across Kansas state lines. Combine this with the Sunflower State’s robust pro sports market as well as their interest in the NFL Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs (who play in Missouri), and you have a recipe for steady intrigue and growth.

To that end, the Kansas sports betting handle continues to set month-over-month volume and revenue records. In March 2024, for example, the state took in nearly $250 million worth of total wagers. That’s the third highest amount in the state of all time, according to BetKansas.com.

What’s more, now that Kansas online sports betting bonuses are fewer in number because the market is older, the Sunflower State is routinely generating more revenue. Three of the past six months have featured Kansas sports betting tax revenue clear the $1 million marker

So, yeah, the Sunflower State absolutely has room for another sports betting operator.

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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